A fun way for students to monitor their finished work is to have each one create a Monopoly board. As they finish each assignment, they color in a block on the board and label it.
To collect homework or other assignments, try having a real mailbox. If an assignment is due, the red flag is up and you can pick up the 'mail' between classes.
A reflective phrase - "If you didn't get the grade you wanted, I didn't get the work I wanted."
Create portfolios or folders of student work that mark their progression of achievement through the year instead of just collecting a hodgepodge of papers.
One way to monitor student work is to make notes on post-its that you can place in the student's folder or in your grade-book as a reminder to follow-up or talk with the student.
Use grading rubrics to help students be accountable for their work. Give them out at the beginning of a unit so they know what you expect. Also use behavioral expectations on the rubrics and have students grade themselves.
Instead of grading notebooks, give a notebook quiz. Ask students to find or identify certain items from their notebook and write it down. Example - "What was the 5th vocabulary word on March 12th?"
Use milk crates to hold the papers or activities for different classes. Each crate can have the materials for separate classes and is easily stacked and accessible.
Have an assignment and goal listed on the board each day for students to copy down and take home each night for their parents to sign and check off completed work.
Have a folder filled with activities for students who finish their seatwork early. It can contain review activities or materials that haven't been fully mastered.
Cover tables with butcher paper (tape the sheets under). During class students can use the paper as scrap paper to practice, and you can post great examples on your bulletin boards.
In the front of the room under the chalkboard, string a clothesline with a clothespin for each student with their name on it. They clip unfinished work on the line and you clip work that absent students have missed to the line. It is easy to see & reach.
Use magnetic clips for students to clip work to their desks if they have unfinished work or if a child is absent.
Make cloth chair covers with a pocket to slip over the back of each desk chair. Have two folders in the pockets, one for completed work to go home and the other for work not yet completed.
For absentee work, have students volunteer to fill out a homework sheet for the absent student. Have them write their name and phone number at the bottom in case the absent student has questions.
To keep parents abreast of students' work, send papers home weekly in a laminated folder. Include a cover sheet that tells how many papers are in the folder to prohibit papers getting "lost" on the way home.
To help students keep up with daily assignments, try having the students keep a daily work folder. Students keep their daily work in it. They can turn it in at the end of the day, if needed.
Remember to have a place in the room to post assignments for students. There are several ways to do this: post on the chalkboard, using different colored chalk for different subjects, use daily or weekly assignment sheets, or a weekly calendar.
To help students monitor their own progress on long-term projects, create a step-by-step checklist that breaks down the project. To further promote student responsibility, this checklist can be created by or with the student.
When students are absent, they miss out on lectures and discussions. To keep them up-to-date with their notes, assign a student secretary who is a good note-taker to take notes.
Keep a daily work folder for each student that stays at their desk. When they are absent, work and assignments are placed in that folder.